Skip to main content

Full text of "NightRider"

See other formats

for carrying. We've got to get money for our people. That
means selling. I've been thinking about this-----"

"Wait!" Mr. Christian pushed his chair back a little with
a rasping sound. "I'll sink five thousand personally in a
holding fund. Till we get every God-damned penny of our
published price schedule. I can raise that much, and I'll
turn that in on a note of hand to the treasurer, and not a
note for ninety days, either, but till the tobacco's sold. I
reckon there's others can do the same thing, all right. Here
in this room, and other members of the Association. And
on these pissy-ant offers "—he lowered his head a little, his
neck reddening and thickened with the motion, and swung
his glance around the table—" I'll vote no."

Then the clamour of voices broke out suddenly, and the
voice of Mr. Morse, the chairman, saying, " Gentlemen, gentle-
men 1"

In the end it was voted to reject the offers. Mr. Munn
voted for acceptance, with the Senator, Mr. Peacham, Mr.
Burden, and Mr. Dicey Short, The chairman broke the tie,
going to rejection. In the grey light from the rain-sluicing
windows, the Senator's face appeared grey, too, and when Mr.
Morse cast his deciding vote, the face seemed suddenly loose,
as though the inner structure had failed that kept the lips
so firmly together and maintained the fine arch of the cheek,
He stopped rolling the long, pale cigar between his fingers
and laid it on the green baize before him. His motion was
very deliberate. The covering leaf of the cigar was frayed
and cracked now. It wouldn't be any good.

Just as the meeting was breaking up, when some of the
men were already moving toward the door, Mr. Christian
said: "Hey! wait a minute. I just want to say, any time you
start raising subscription money to tide the Association over,
that five thousand is still good. At least," he added, grinning
heavily, and pointing toward the floor, "if those bastards
downstairs there in the bank will give me another mortgage
on my place."

No one made any answer to Mr. Christian's words.